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Rivals To Contest The Community Shield

Manchester derby gets the new season underway in style

Posted Aug 04, 2011 by Chris White

The Community Shield will have a definite edge to it this year after relatively dull games in recent years

What a way to start the new football season. The traditional season opener, the Community Shield, is quite often a drab affair with neither side willing to take too many risks ahead of a hectic schedule over the next nine months. But it’s not normally a Manchester derby.

Premiership champions Manchester United take on rivals and FA Cup winners City in the Wembley curtain-raiser on Sunday with both sides looking to get one up on their rivals, particularly as City knocked United out of the cup in the semi-finals last year.

Sir Alex Ferguson is already quoted as expecting “the mother of all Community Shield clashes” and his side will certainly be aiming to win the game – and not just to beat “the noisy neighbours” – but to get that first piece of silverware in the cabinet, which is so often a psychological boost going into the season.

United could give competitive debuts to goalkeeper David de Gea, signed from Atletico Madrid as the man to replace the retired Edwin van der Sar, while Ashley Young and Phil Jones could also make their first appearances on home soil for the 19-time English champions. Javier Hernandez is expected to miss out for United with concussion, suffered on the recent tour of America.

For City, they could give debuts to full-back Gael Clichy and £38million signing Sergio Aguero at Wembley, while want-away captain Carlos Tevez will not play having been given extended time off by the club. With so many options for each position, Roberto Mancini has a number of selection issues, aside from Tevez, but the stage is set for a cracker.

My prediction: A tight game with some scrappy early season play. United should just edge it though having had a much better pre-season and with an improved squad who will already gel as a side, unlike their neighbours who at times last year looked like strangers. Manchester United 2 Manchester City 1.

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